Infrastructure and Housing Development minister, Nonofo Molefhi has blamed construction overruns and budget blowouts on poor project management by consultants.
Officiating at the Construction Pitso in Gaborone recently, the minister said it has become a common practice that government projects always experience delays culminating in contract periods for construction projects being exceeded while progress on sites for these projects could be as low as five percent.
He noted that the most unfortunate thing is that in such situations, consultants engaged to monitor and supervise these projects would have failed to perform their roles.
“In certain instances they even fail to issue a single contractual notice to the affected contractors,” Molefhi said.
He also expressed concern and disappointment in what he said is a growing trend in which some contractors and consultants seem to be keen in milking money from government without any work done to justify claims.
In the face of such challenges in the industry, he said his ministry is keen to ensure that they go the extra mile in engaging all those who are part of the industry, to see whether they can find solutions to the challenges bedevilling the sector.
“In this regard, we appeal to various professional associations to start paying attention to the performance of their members as this has the potential to tarnish your organisations as well if you turn a blind eye to issues of poor performance by your members.”
Molefhi further indicated that the construction
“It is my hope and belief that the registration of all players in the construction industry will ensure that there is an element of self-discipline and drive towards building a reliable and trustworthy industry,” he said.
The minister also explained that the registration will not only affect the private sector practitioners, noting that even officers in government are required by law to register and comply with requirements of their respective Acts.
Thus, he said the expectation is that all players will shun unprofessional conduct, which should result in such individual losing their licences to practice.
For his part, permanent secretary in the ministry, Dikagiso Mokotedi said issues of project failure on account of negligence; lack of commitment and indiscipline on the part of industry players is not something that should carry in to the future.
“We should rid ourselves of such malpractices and disown any of our members who exhibit such behaviour,” he said.
He noted that there is need for a credible and respectable construction industry in the country, adding that it is only where such an industry thrives that good quality buildings that can best facilitate the lives of the people can be produced.